Campaign by Vancouver woman helps jailed Iranian teen
A Vancouver woman who has worked for months to help a jailed Iranian teen is thrilled that a court has overturned a death sentence against her.
Nazanin Afshin-Jam, former Miss World Canada, said "feelings of joy" came when she heard the news this week that Nazanin Fatehi, 19, will be spared from death by hanging. But she said she will continue the fight to free the young woman from prison.
Afshin-Jam has collected more than 300,000 signatures on an online petition, recorded a song and lobbied politicians about the case. She has also worked with human rights organizations to draw attention to the teen's plight.
An Iranian court sentenced Fatehi to death a year ago after she had confessed to stabbing to death one of three men who tried to rape her and her 16-year-old niece in a park near Tehran in March 2005. She was 17 at the time.
After a retrial last week, the court ruled that Fatehi acted in self defence and has been exonerated from the charge of murder, but used a disproportionate amount of force to fend off one of her attackers.